It was dark. And cold. And the last place I wanted to be was in the musty, confined corner of my garage by myself trying to do bicep curls and burpees. But I was committed. I had already bought the kettle bells. And the power cage. And the yoga mat. I was trying to save money and time by not having a gym membership expense, or the 30-minute drive to the gym and back.
But I was beginning to have buyer’s remorse. What had I gotten myself into? Things had been better when I could open the garage door and let the sunshine and breeze in. But now it was winter. The sun was hiding out. And so was I – in my warm well-lit house. Not getting exercise.
I complained to a friend of mine who also had a home gym that he used regularly. He asked me to describe where I had set up the equipment. After hearing me grumble about the dark corner, he laughed and said I probably needed a mirror and some better lighting.
Oh. I hadn’t thought of that.
Have you ever thought about adding a mirror to your garage gym? You might think it’s an underrated piece of equipment. But just like your resistance bands, hand weights, and power cage, it serves an important purpose.
Garage gym mirrors can give you the motivation and the confidence you need to perform at your best. Beyond having a mirror showing you your overall progress, it can also help you check your form and technique while you work out. Mirrors can also make your garage gym feel open instead cramped, dedicating the space and improving your overall fitness experience.
Reason # 1 To Have a Garage Gym Mirror – Progress and Motivation
Personal fitness involves some commitment. Before set routines become habit, (and even when they are a regular part of your day), it helps to have goals. These keep you going and keep the excuses at bay. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds, or the entire spare tire. Maybe it’s inches off your waist or definition in your arms and shoulders. Maybe it’s your legs that need strengthening.
A good regimen can change your body composition. But tracking your progress involves more than a scale and a tape-measure. Big picture is important too.
Some may call it vanity, but if you keep at your regimen, how you look in the mirror is in itself a reward. It can play a big role in your motivation. Having a mirror for your garage gym helps you to see how much you’ve progressed – the visual fruit of all your hard work and sacrifice you’ve done to earn those curves, the lean muscle, and those gorgeous definitions.
Reason # 2 To Have a Garage Gym Mirror – Practice Correct Form and Technique
Have you ever strained or pulled a muscle because you didn’t lift just right? When we are trying a new piece of equipment, or doing a set of squats, or an working an angle with those weights, mastering the form is important. Incorrect from can result in too much strain on the wrong areas and move you in the wrong direction from meeting the goals you are working so hard to reach.
Having that mirror in front of you is a great self-correcting tool. If you are lifting with your elbows in the wrong place, or not keeping your back and shoulders straight as you do squats, your own eyes on the reflection can be your spotter. That way you can adjust as you work out instantly, rather than pay for it later with an injury.
Beyond improving overall safety, practicing correct technique will make your workout more effective. For example, if you are working a new muscle group, a mirror can help you determine if your pec flies are on point, or if your exercises with the resistance bands are getting the work done.
Reason # 3 To Have a Garage Gym Mirror – Opens Workout Space
Mirrors are used nearly everywhere to make small spaces look brighter and more open. Pair a good wall-length mirror with some well-placed lighting and you can completely transform a room.
If you’re like me, the look and feel of my workout space can shift my motivation. I would rather not go sweat it out in a stuffy, dark box for an hour. Some light and depth go a long way. And if my space is organized, with the weights on the rack, the black rubber pads under my feet, and some motivating posters up, there’s a sense of ownership and pride in my little personal gym. It’s good to be in there. The mirrors reflect my hard work in more ways than one.
Reason # 4 To Have a Garage Gym Mirror – Safety Beyond the Barbells
Another safety tip about having a garage gym mirror has to do with the type of mirror you install. Yeah, you could pick up some standing mirror at Walmart that will help you watch your form. But if a stray barbell goes flying, your workout will come to a screeching halt while you clean up the mess of tiny glass pieces.
Garage gym mirrors should have a few key features. Flat flush-mount mirrors will keep the corners out of your way and reduce the risk of pulling it down or tipping it over by accident. Tempered glass, as a material, is stronger and generally thicker than your standard decorative mirror and is a good choice for your wall. You should also check into mirrors that are safety-backed with an adhesive that will keep shattered pieces in place if something does happen.
If breakage is a high concern for you, acrylic or plexiglass mirrors are also an option. However, this material can flex and distort the reflections which works against the purpose of the gym wall mirror.
Reason # 5 To Have a Garage Gym Mirror – Commits the Space
Your garage gym may take up your entire single car garage, but chances are, you have a corner, or a sidewall designated for your workouts. Adding a mirror to your equipment is a way to commit that corner to your cause. It can also help keep the other hobbies or vehicles in their places so that you can continue to crush your workout goals and track that physical progress.
If you haven’t really organized your equipment yet, this can also be a great place to start. Set up your mirror first, and then you can move your equipment around it accordingly.
If you’ve already invested in equipment, flooring, and temperature control for your garage gym, remember – Don’t neglect the mirror! The benefits for your workout and your space will be worth setting it up.
In my case, the change was night and day. I got some nice, large wall-mounted mirrors and a few Edison-bulb fixtures to light up the corner. And yeah, I saw some of the other things improve too – like some sloppy form and bad technique habits I had gotten into. I was back on track, and ready to hit some new personal bests.